Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Broccoli, Potato & Caramelized Onion Soup

As I was on a roll yesterday with making my leek & potato soup, I decided to use up the broccoli that has been residing in my fridge for a week! Luckily I had chopped and frozen potatoes from my CSA share into 2, 4 and 8 cup portions so it was easy to pull this soup together! This recipe comes from my favourite vegetarian cookbook: "The New Vegetarian Epicure", by Anna Thomas.


1 3/4 lbs broccoli (approx 6 cups of chopped broccoli)
3 onions, roughly diced
salt, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1 /2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large potatoes (approx. 1 lb), peeled & diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
3 cups water
4 cups homemade vegetable stock
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1 /2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a skillet, over medium heat. Add the onions and saute with a sprinkle of salt, until golden.
  • Combine the potatoes and celery in a large soup pot with the water and stock and approx. 1/2 tsp salt if needed (if it's a homemade stock you might want to as homemade stocks are never seasoned).
  • Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for approx. 10 minutes. Add the chopped broccoli and sauteed onions and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and puree the soup either in batches in the blender, or using an immersion blender in the soup pot. Don't overprocess as the texture should be somewhat rough.
  • Melt the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp butter in a skillet and stir in the flour. Cook this roux for a few minutes, stirring constantly, till golden. Whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring or whisking till it thickens. Whisk in the mustard and the cayenne and add the white sauce to the soup.
  • Bring the soup back to a simmer, taste and correct the seasonings with more salt and pepper, mustard or cayenne.
  • You can garnish the bowl with small florettes of steamed broccoli, or a swirl of sour cream!
  • ENJOY!!!

Leek & Potato Soup

With the cooler weather rapidly approaching, my mind always turns to soups (my favourite!!!) I love to make big batches of a variety of vegetable soups and then freeze them so I will always have them on hand. Cheap and cheerful...much like the person creating them ;-)


1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 leeks, washed thoroughly and chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cups 1" cubed potatoes
3 3/4 cups homemade stock (I use chicken)
salt and ground black pepper
  • Heat 2 tbsp of the butter in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and cook gently, for approximately 7 minutes, until they are softened.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add the stock and bring it to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 30-35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Chop up and stir in the remaining butter.
  • Serve hot with fresh crusty bread - YUM!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yummiest Mac & Cheese!

Today after my riding lesson I really felt like something filling and homemade...basically comfort food! So I decided to make my macaroni and cheese! This is not only super-easy, but kid-friendly too (I made it just the other night for Hayden, India and Devon!) There is no baking required unless you like to have the cheese form a crispy coating on the top like in the photo (then just pop it in a 350F oven for 15 mins!)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 envelopes of ranch salad dressing mix
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed mozzarella or Monterey Jack (for zip!)
1 cup sour cream
16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked until al dente
1/2 cup crushed Premium Plus crackers or panko bread crumbs
Grated cheddar and Parmesan Reggiano
  • In a large pot combine the first 8 ingredients (milk to mozzarella) over medium heat until cheese is melted and mixture begins to thicken.
  • Fold in the sour cream. Add the macaroni and crackers. Cook until heated through, stirring frequently to prevent it sticking.
  • Top with a light dusting of grated cheddar and Parmesan Reggiano cheese and either serve or put into a 350F oven until cheese has melted and is golden brown.
  • ENJOY!